@agrilawyer

November 24th, 2009

grc6197-raysor_craig_p_p2Craig Raysor

Agricultural and Food Lawyer in the Metropolitan Memphis Area

Attorney at Gillon & Associates, PLLC

Author of legal blog Seed Law

Today we’re tweeting with Memphis-based agriculture and food lawyer @agrilawyer

  1. @agrilawyer thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @agrilawyer?
    Thank you for having me,I would say I am a good Southern Gentleman that enjoys the good life overall,no matter how tough the times.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I mainly focus on representing agriculture and food clients in corporate, political, regulatory and international trade matters.
  3. What type of agriculture and food clients do you represent?
    Anybody from individual clients that need a will or a pot-bellied pig saved to start-ups to large national trade associations.
  4. That’s a broad range…. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    For the larger clients , it would be Lobbying or preparatory work for various governmental programs, as well as interpreting regs.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I just tell them that we need to keep open communication both ways, and never hesitate to call or stop by.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I assisted in getting the govt to overturn a reg that would have taken payments from land that was taken from and leased back . . .
    . . . to farmers throughout the nation by the govt. We did some client meetings with entire rural communities at their fairgrounds.
  7. Quite different from the conference room…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Specialization, accessibility, and honesty. I’m a lawyer because I want to be a part of a community, not to take from it.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Oddly its commercial litigation, and no, not really. The volatility in the cotton market left many ginner clients needing a lawyer.
  9. What is the principal business issue your clients face? How do you help them resolve it?
    Like most, its what to do with scarce resources. Connect them to money or help with ways to keep costs low, preferably the former.
  10. That makes sense. In what other ways has the ongoing economic crisis affected your clients?
    It has definitely taken a hit, many sources of funds for our start-up bioenergy clients has dried up, so we have to become creative.
  11. What would you say is the next big frontier in agricultural law and policy?
    Bridging the gap between consumer and the agricultural/food industry. This will change the policy decisions re: commodities & trade.
  12. How do you market your practice?
    Through twitter, the website, farm trade groups, and good ol’ word of mouth (which I value the most). .
  13. Besides Twitter, do you use other Web 2.0 tools to market your practice?
    blog at www.seedlaw.blogspot.com, I tooled with FB, but feel its too cluttered for bus. I have been on FB personally for a few yrs
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I have not gained a terrible amount of clients yet, but I have connected very well with potential clients and journalists.
  15. That alone is very valuable…. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    You are dead on. Any moment that I am not focusing directly on a paid client matter. Branding is huge concern for a small niche firm
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    A big problem I have noticed is a disconnect between the newer generation lawyers and older gen. lawyers . . .
    . . . I have been fortunate to have great mentors, but many other young lawyers have not. Requires work from both ends.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Unfortunately, I think it will circle back to what we were, we will dumb back down from lessons we learned in this turbulent market.
    I’m obviously speaking in generalities.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    A chocolatier – me and a candy oven with hard rock playing on the radio making specialty chocolate footballs.
  19. Sweet! (no, I really couldn’t resist…). How do you want to be remembered?
    Haha, I understand. Hopefully as an awesome Chocolatier/ Ag Attorney that was a caring husband and father when that time comes.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I spend time running, weightlifting, reading history books, watching my wife at roller derby. I want to get back into Rugby soon.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    You are a walking business, and your integrity and competence is your brand. Go sell it even if you are looking for another job.
  22. And our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Law School Students -Take advantage of the ability to “free”-think b/c most of ur law prac, ur thinking is paid for by someone else.

Very valuable advice. Thank you for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice

Thanks a lot Lance, I enjoyed the interview and I look forward to seeing the other ones with lawyers in the near future.

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@thetrialwarrior

November 19th, 2009

antonin-pribetic-toronto-life-photoAntonin Pribetic

Canadian and International commercial litigation and arbitration lawyer at Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel

Professor, University of Toronto at Mississauga–Rotman School of Management

Author of The Trial Warrior Blog

Today we’re tweeting with Toronto-based lawyer @thetrialwarrior, who specializes in commercial litigation and arbitration

  1. @thetrialwarrior thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @thetrialwarrior?
    Thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to pontificate, er, I mean, speak with you today.
    The Trial Warrior is my alter-ego: he’s an Archetype; Cautious Optimist; Taoist Alchemist and Finder of Delusion.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I practice domestic & Int’l commercial litig’n and arbitr’n, civil litig’n, class actions, admin law and reputation mgmt law
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I act for both plaintiffs and defendants. My clients range from multi-national corporations to individuals.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Damages, Damages, Damages: Getting or avoiding judgment. Few cases are taken on or won on principle.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    1.“How much justice can you afford?” 2.“Don’t lie to me” 3.“Only one thing guarantees our failure, and that’s if we quit”
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Significance is subjective: $4 M judgment obtained for a US client or landlord/tenant appeal prompting legislative amendment
  7. I’d say both of those qualify…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I wish I could say it was my charm, but they usually hire me knowing that they will get what they pay for and nothing less.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Jurisdictional challenges/foreign judgment enforcement and reputation management law (mostly internet defamation)
    It’s atypical, but most commercial litigation for the most part varies in form and content
  9. You’ve adopted Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” as your professional and personal guide. Should others do the same? Why?
    Master Sun said:“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” We each must choose our own path.
  10. In addition to practicing, you teach at the U of Toronto. Does teaching make you a better lawyer? How?
    What paint is to an artist; teaching is to a lawyer. Knowledge shared without, leads to wisdom within.
  11. Indeed. How do you market your practice?
    Mostly print/online media. I’m active in a few prof. assoc’s (ABA, OBA, ILA, IBA) and rely on client/lawyer recommendations
  12. You blog at The Trial Warrior Blog (http://bit.ly/5a23d). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    I write the blog for anyone interested in trial advocacy & international law who’s also committed to the pursuit of justice.
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    Blawging and Tweeting is personal; I use online pub’s (SSRN/BePress) 2 promote my legal writing > client/lawyer referrals.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Combo of my firm’s website, online directories, & Google SEO all have increased referrals/client engagements significantly.
  15. Sounds like real ROI. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I spend about 2 hrs/day. TTW spends more, although most of it is taken up philosophizing, strategizing and plotting ;-\
  16. A man and his alter ego at work…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Maintaining one’s personal and professional ethics in the face of client demands and info/tech overload is the exigent issue
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    The lamentable trend of the “vanishing trial” means trial lawyers are a “dying breed” turning us into knowledge technocrats.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be a guitarist in a heavy metal band, or a philosopher, or a ghost writer, writing about ghosts, or, all of the above.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Niiezsche said: “Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.” Neither famous, nor infamous, a fighter for justice
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I read/write poetry, I play guitar, I procrastinate, I vent at injustices in the world, I watch Toronto teams get pummelled
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Master Sun said:“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”Stay sharp, have a strategy: listen, learn, read, write, speak.
    …and remember that Nietzsche said: “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
  22. Thoughtful guidance. And finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Never lose your sense of wonder or thirst for knowledge after you finish law school and always be an advocate for justice.

Great advice. Thank you [both] for tweeting w/me today; I really enjoyed learning more about you & your practice.

Thanks again for the opportunity. I/we enjoyed talking with you today.

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@glennm

November 11th, 2009

glenn_soccomm09Glenn Manishin

Competition, intellectual property and policy advocacy lawyer

Partner, Duane Morris LLP

Author of Glenn’s Web and LexDigerati

Web pioneer and Web 2.0 legal guru

Today we’re tweeting with @glennm, biglaw antitrust / telecom / technology litigator turned Web 2.0 legal guru

  1. @glennm thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @glennm?
    Good morning . Thanks for inviting me.
    A tech atty. focused on comp. policy, IP & complex litigation. I help to shape the rules for new technologies, like social media.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    My practice has broadened over the years as technology developed, from telecom to software and Internet to mobility and content….
    It all started at DOJ during the US v. AT&T divestiture case, where I 1st combined antitrust with telecom regulation.
  3. That’s quite a resume! What type of clients do you represent?
    Clients who can pay their bills. ;-) Seriously, my clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Hard 2 generalize.
  4. I can imagine…. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    “What am I?” Meaning, how will legislators, courts and regulators classify and treat our products and services. That affects…
    …business Qs like CRM, IP protection/licensing and relations with both partners and competitors.
  5. Sounds like fascinating work. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “It’s better 2 be the windshield than the bug.” Be proactive in managing the development of law & policy affecting ur space.
  6. Am sure you’ve got some great success stories: tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    My fave is representing Netscape in 1995-96, when the FCC faced the Q of what was this new animal of the Net…
    …Netscape WAS the Internet and we inaugurated a federal policy of minimal regulation that survives (in large part) today.
  7. Wow. And we all thank you for that…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m smart, fast and strategic. I would rather solve a problem with a conf. call than write a research memo. And I try to craft…
    …legal strategies for clients that further their long-term bus. plan rather than just dispose of “one off” disputes.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Over the past 2-3 years it’s been litigation. But the law moves in cycles, sometimes regulatory agencies r where the action is….
    …and at other times firms must act to resolve issues by taking them to the courts. We’re in the latter phase in tech now.
  9. What have been the biggest changes in your practice over the past few years? Clients? Technology? The Law?
    A move away from private antitrust litigation to intellectual property, as competition issues have become dominated by disputes…
    …over ownership of the underlying tech methods and assets. Take VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) for one example.
  10. What will be the next great legal battle of Web 2.0? Why should we pay attention to it?
    Who owns user-generated content is the big unsettled Q. It will impact users, social network providers and content creators…
    …If most or all digital content can b “shared,” how do older rules re proprietary rights apply in the new environment.
  11. You’re at an AmLaw 100 firm. How does your firm’s leadership view your active Web 2.0 presence?
    Mgmt. is supportive & has tasked me several times w/teaching our lawyers how to utilize and interact w/social media.
  12. That’s great. What do you say to lawyers who thumb their noses at social media and social networking?
    Hope they don’t thumb noses. But lawyers are conservative creatures and thus tend not to embrace change quickly…
    …I’d say that if attys. do not “get it,” they probably won’t get as many clients and work as new modes of communication develop.
  13. Your Web 2.0 presence is a mash-up of personal & professional. What are your SocMed objectives? Are you achieving them?
    I’m more concerned with satisfying a passion for early adoption than forming concrete objectives from social media. My philosophy…
    …has always been to find industries, partners and clients that excite me, so work is satisfying instead of a burden. The rest..
    …typically follows, namely success, profit and (we hope) happiness.
  14. Nice. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve been approached and retained by about 1/2 dozen clients in the past 12-18 months from social media contacts. The familiarity…
    …created by a user’s “social stream” tends 2 build closer relationships from the start than cold calls either way.
  15. Indeed. Can be a significant competitive advantage. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Discipline is key, else social media addiction can consume one’s life. I dedicate 30 mins, in the morning and then periodically…
    …review/post stories re current events (emphasizing law/policy, of course) of interest. Content is the best promotion.
  16. Seems to be working well…. Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    It’s clear that Big Law is facing its most challenging bus. environment in decades. Pressures to reduce and make fees predictable…
    …r sending shock waves of RIFs throughout the field. What will the bus. model be 4 legal servs. in the 21st century?
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Ah, if I could predict that, I’d be able to retire now. ;-) 20 yrs. ago I never imagined 3000+ lawyer firms, so I don’t…
    ..pretend to have a crystal ball on the legal landscape. Change can b both exhilarating and frightening, however.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Photographer or ski bum. Maybe there’s still time left? I could take a bluetooth headset 2 the slopes & do bus. in powder. .
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Unless a person becomes historically famous, legacy is all about the memories one leaves with family, colleagues and friends….
    …So while I am not especially religious, I believe in “from dust to dust.”
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Law is a jealous mistress as the old saying goes. Time is a precious commodity in short supply. So on off hours I recharge my…
    …batteries, enjoy time with wife/friends and try to beat my freshman-year son in fantasy football (he’s going down!).
  21. What advice can you pass along to the increasing # of lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Quoting Jim Carville, it’s the economy, stupid. Do not equate self-worth with job prospects. Keep faith in urself & ur innate value.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Enjoy being an atty., but remember most of lawyering is in small details. Master craft first before trying 2b creative.

Relevant advice Indeed. Thanks so much for tweeting with me today; I really enjoyed learning more about you & your practice.

And thanks much 4 the Twitterview, Lance. I’m honored to be your guest. Very early here (Calif.), so hope I was coherent.

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@michaelscutt

November 5th, 2009

michael_scutt2Michael Scutt

Employment law solicitor in the City of London

Partner, Dale Langley & Co

Author of Jobsworth, the employment law blog

Today we’re tweeting with solicitor and blawger @michaelscutt, who has a niche employment law practice in the City of London

  1. @michaelscutt thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @michaelscutt?
    I am Father, husband, cat-owner, blogger, solicitor, writer, Arsenal fan, gadget fan, cyclist, cook – in that order
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    We are a 2 ptnr niche full-service employment law practice. We give practical, cost-effective, jargon-free legal advice
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    employees of all levels of seniority mainly in banking, finance, legal and IT sectors but also SMEs and owner managed bizs
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Employees: 2 equal: redundancy and will I get a bonus? Employers: how to reduce costs without making redundancies
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    How much I charge, what my time estimate is, ask what THEIR ideal solution to their problem is and what I can do to help
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    An equal pay and bullying/harassment case involving senior female banker. We got a good settlement before trial
  7. Congrats to you and your client. Why do your clients hire you?
    Thx. Virtually all work gets referred to us by recommendation from previous clients, other lawyers, HR, contacts etc
  8. Nice recognition of your work! What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Thx. Advising on severance agreements, grievance /disciplinary procedures, employment contracts, restrictive covenants. Yes
  9. How has the economic crisis “changed the game” with respect to employment law? Has it changed for good?
    Clients are much more cost conscious and put fee estimates before any other qualities of their lawyer. Yes, it’s the future
  10. Interesting. How do you market your practice?
    word of mouth referrals (see above) networking in “real” world, journal articles, website, my blog, Linked In, Facebook
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I say I’m an employment lawyer who can solve all their problems! Re: employment law of course! mainly I just try to listen
  12. You blog at Jobsworth (http://bit.ly/3mBjXo). What are your goals for the blog? Are you meeting them?
    Yes: it raises my profile and I’ve made some good contacts through it. No: conversion rate of enquiries 2 clients needs 2 improve
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    I use our recently redesigned website http://bit.ly/u3R3w also Linked In and, sometimes, Facebook. Wikipedia is next.
  14. Intrigued re Wiki… What specific impact on referrals / client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    direct client engagement hard to say. Other contacts: great. I now lecture on Tesco law because of a referral via my blog
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Probably 1 – 2 hours per day average, mostly in the evenings and on train. Addict! My wife says she is an internet widow
  16. And now you’re online at 9pm for this…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    No worries. Kids have finally gone to bed! Undoubtedly the introduction of full legal deregulation …
    via external ownership of law firms in 2011 – so called Tesco Law. Many lawyers here only just waking up to it
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    V few generalist and fewer mid-size law firms, more small specialised law firms, few high st giants, more IT / virtual lwyrs
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    My wife says I’d be happy! Probably be in IT – as a social media consultant. At school I wanted to be a forester
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I think I’d just like to be remembered
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Look after and play with my 2 small kids, cook, write, go cycling/running, occasionally go out with my wife – in that order
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t despair, be flexible, be imaginative, use social media to make contacts. Network!
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    2 things; (1) good luck and (2) Be humble; lawyers don’t have a god-given right to a living

Valuable advice. Thank you very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice.

I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you very much for having me on your Twitterview.

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